Monday, 15 February 2016

Police Train Eagles to Take Down Drones on Sight


Eagles Trained to Bring Unmanned Drones Down in Emergency

The Dutch National Police force has revealed that it would be training eagles in bringing down unmanned drones in emergency cases. The purpose is to disable a drone which may for instance, tend to wander in the airspace of a city centre or an airport or without the danger of falling from the sky and on anyone below.

Development of anti-drone UAV are also taking place though it presently seems to be simpler and cheaper in the use of nature’s greatest hunters instead of one of humanity’s lest dependable robots to do the task. It is reported that the Dutch police will be working with a company known as `Guard From Above’, or a translation of that name for training of the eagles, a firm in The Hague who tend to specialize in training birds of prey for private security, in helping to protect the skies from rogue drones.

With the training, the eagle tends to recognise the drones as prey which they disable with the claws. Thereafter the eagle deposits the drone in a space which is distanced from civilians. A specific example, which was posted to YouTube, the eagle picks out a DJI model and does it quite effectively.

Drones Getting Cheaper & Accessible

So far, the project seems to be under trail with the police assessing if they want a full fleet of drone busting birds of prey. The police have also been working on other systems to take the drone out from the sky including hacking the drone as well as just using a net or the combination of both.

However, the potential of the eagle tends to provide more flexibility once the machine is recovered. Eagles in the wild have portrayed a natural inclination in attacking drones on sight as hawks, rams and chimps and thus it may not be the most awful idea if the safety of the animal can be assured.

Drones are getting cheaper and much more accessible, increasing the apprehension that they could be utilised by criminals or terrorist groups. Taking this into consideration, recently the Japanese police force has announced that they would organise a battalion of anti-drone officers and disable drones.

Animal Instinct of Bird of Prey – Exceptional

The Netherland’s Police had mentioned in a statement that `in future, drones would be used progressively and hence it would increase the number of incidents regarding drones and could also be utilised for criminal purposes. The security firm state that the technique used is not harmful to the birds and is not dangerous than the scraps they get into with prey in the wild.

 Their feet are heavily scaled to precisely protect them from sharp bites, scratches and slashes. Nonetheless, the company has been working with the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research to evaluate whether the propellers of the drone tend to affect the claws of the bird. `Guards from Above’ had mentioned in a press release that they used birds’ natural hunting instincts to intercept drones and this was done safely, accurately and quickly.

The animal instinct of a bird of prey is exceptional and capable of overpowering fast-moving prey. At times the solution to a hypermodern problem is more obvious than one might imagine.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Google Now Blocking Websites That Show Fake Download Buttons


Blocking Deceptive Content/Ads through Google’s Safe Browsing

As reported by online source, Google will be helping more users in avoiding sites which post deceptive ads and content has begun blocking website that tend to do so, to ensure that users do not indulge in fake download button.

This may appear right near the real download button or pup-ups, challenging phone tech support to remove million malware infections which may be deceptively found on the computer. The blocking would take place through Google’s Safe Browsing tech that one would have perhaps seen earlier. It is the big red interstitial which seems to appear when one clicks on a dodgy search result.

Safe Browsing has been for some time though it only prevents the user from visiting sites which were serving up malware or sites which Google had considered unsafe. However, in November, Google had begun blocking sites that utilised `social engineering attacks, in order to get the user to install unwanted software or to reveal sensitive information.

Presently Google has been expanding that to websites which tend to serve up deceptive embedded contents. The new block, specially is against deceptive embedded content which translates to `deceptive ads’.

Google to Display a Big Red Warning

When searching for something, the sites with the shady misleading ads which tend to claim that you need to install a certain type of plugin, product or a toolbar would generate a big red scary unfriendly STOP screen, misleading the user to a deceptive button.

 This is a development to a change which Google has made to search returns back in November when it began blocking sites it envisaged were utilising some type of social engineering attack to make you divulge information which otherwise one would not reveal. As Google had explained on its Online Security Blog, sites that have any kind of ads which deceptively attempt to imitate actual site functionality would now be considered as `social engineering’.

 This would comprise of fake download buttons, cautioning that software that one has is `out of date’ and fake notifications to update like Flash player. Whenever a site tends to use this tricks, Google would be displaying a big red warning prior to the visits of the site by the user. This would discourage shadier sites from utilising underhand attempts to trick users on clicking on ads or make attempts in preventing them from getting tricked.

Essential to Refresh Page Prior to Viewing Social Engineering Ads

For the webmasters, this change would be especially difficult. Hosting of deceptive content on the site is one thing though deceptive third party content served by casual ad server would be a bit difficult to police. Webmaster knowledge base of Google does not seem to provide much help, though to note that `ad networks could be rotating the ads shown on the site’s pages.

 Hence it could be essential to refresh a page a few times prior to viewing any social engineering ads that appear. For the others, this would be a longed-for change. Though the usage pattern seem to be unstable, Google Search tends to drive billion of website clicks each day and several of these websites tend to still depend on Google traffic to stay afloat and this could be the start to an end for fake download buttons.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Microsoft Recalls Millions of Fire-Risk Power Cords


Microsoft Announced a Recall Related to Power Cords

Microsoft has voluntarily announced the recall after 56 reports of over two million power cords sold with Surface tablets all over the world were overheated, emitting flames. It had also received five reports from customers who had received electrical shocks. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has informed users to unplug the cords and get in touch with Microsoft for a free replacement.

The recall is related to power cords which had been sold with the Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2 and Surface Pro 3 tablets prior to March 2015 in Canada and the US and July 2015 beyond those countries. Though Microsoft is yet to go public on the number of Surface Pro power cords it intends to recall over fire concerns, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has conveyed that it is more than two million, stateside alone.

Microsoft claims that it received reports that cord for the first, second and third generation of the slab-book sold prior to March 15 could be defective, as exposed last month. It has informed that this could be the outcome of them being wound too tightly, twisted or pinched over an extended period of time.

Microsoft to Provide One AC Power Cord Free of Charge

Microsoft has informed that it will be providing one AC power cord free of charge and proof of damage is not essential. People with more than one Surface device would need to submit a claim for each device and it is not essential to send the old cords to them. Microsoft had sold around five million Surface devices since the launch, up to and inclusive of the first calendar quarter of last year, according to estimates from channel analyst Canalys.

Recently Apple is also said to be in the process of recalling for certain types of AC wall plug adapters which were included in some iPhone, iPad and Mac products, owing to danger of the adapters breaking and resulting in electric shock. As per the company, the recall comprise of two pronged wall plugs adapters incorporated with Mac computers and 10-watt adapters included with certain iOS devices between 2003 and 2015.

Consumers to Recycle/Dispose Defective Cords

Generally speaking, the responsibility is on the consumer for the problem which Microsoft has been addressing. If one has been rolling the power cord up in a way so as to make them more portable, one would probably damage the cord.

This could not only be the case of Microsoft cord but the cords in general. When one tends to roll up a cord against its natural shape there could be chances of fatigue wherein the complete length of the cord may tend to twist in a direction away from the length of the cord. According to Albert Cardenas, Product Manager for Consumer Audio at Monoprice, when asked for his advice explained that the stress against the natural coil could tend to twist the cord, ultimately weakening the cord to the point of irregular performance or even failure of the cord.

Microsoft has confirmed that a very small section of Surface Pro customers had reported of overheating problems with regards to their power cables. Consumers will be advised to recycle or dispose their defective cords in order to avoid the probability of future dangers.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Winning Hyperloop design revealed by MIT engineers


Hyperloop – Conceptual Transport System

A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has revealed designs for passenger pods which tend to travel through airless tubes. The Hyperloop is said to be a conceptual transport system wherein passenger of pods could be fired through vacuum tubes at more than 600 mph or 1,000 km/h.

The MIT team first came in a SpaceX competition in designing pods which could be experimented in a prototype tube and would now have the opportunity of building and testing its design in the U.S. Over 115 teams had entered the design competition with the MIT engineers making attempts for the Best Overall Design prize.

At the award ceremony in Texas recently, Mr Musk spoke of the next stage of the competition stating that the basic idea with the competition is that `they were going to try to get the highest possible speed in the 1.5 km track and then you have to stop before the end. There will be foam put towards the end so that one might recover some pieces of the pod. The purpose is to come up with something which could eventually be utilised and if one were to extend the track to hundreds of kilometres, the system would still tend to work

Spur Interest in New Forms of Transportation

What is envisioned to be done with Hyperloop was to spur interest in new forms of transportation’ and Musk is of the belief that it will happen. `It is clear that the public as well as the world would want something new’.

The MIT team beat over 100 other design teams of students from across the world, in order to win the award for the best overall design. The captain of the winning team, Phillippe Kirschen, a master’s student in aeronautics and astronautics commented that `MIT has been involved in so many technological breakthroughs in the past century and it makes sense that we could help advance what might be the future of transportation’, as reported in MIT news.

Chris Merian, chief engineer of the winning MIT team has described the pod as a levitating aluminium capsule and has said that the pod tends to focus on levitating and moving at really high speeds. Those are the two things which are seen as crucial to this being a true Hyperloop pod.As reported by BBC, the pod that tends to function on a custom designed computer system does not have space to accommodate passengers or cargo at the moment

Testing Braking System with Advanced Magnets

But the team has assimilated a fail-safe brake system in order to stop the pod in case its computer system tends to fail to operate. It is said that the MIT team together with 21 other students-led groups had the opportunity to graduate to the next level and experiment their designs on SpaceX’s mile-long test track.

The team is said to now concentrate on testing out its braking system using advanced magnets to plunge their pod at a speed of 100m per second. By mid-May, the final assembly of the design would be preferably ready for testing.

Envisioned concept of a `fifth mode of transportation’ the Hyperloop was announced by Elon Musk, the entrepreneur and tech titan in August 2013. The concept involved high speed transportation of cargo and passengers aboard a `pod’ which would travel within airless tubes.

 Though SpaceX had mentioned that it had no plans of commercialising Hyperloop, it however prefers to quicken the progress. Presently the tech company is said to be developing a mile long track in California that will be utilised in experimenting several pod designs in the forthcoming months.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Next-Gen Incandescent Bulb is a Light-Recycling Marvel


New Incandescent Light Bulb – More Efficient than LED

A new incandescent light bulb has been invented by a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology due to the breakthrough in nanotechnology which tends to be much more efficient than LEDs. The US researchers state that they have developed the technique which could considerably advance the efficiency of the traditional incandescent light bulb.

The older bulbs have been phased out in several countries since they tend to waste large amount of energy as heat. However the scientists at MIT have discovered means of recycling the waste energy and aiming to get back on the filament where it is re-produced as visible light. They are of the belief that they have developed the skill which could turn the weakness of the traditional incandescent bulb into power.

 The incandescent light bulb is a wonderful world changing invention. Its form is iconic with the light it tends to produce is matchless. The MIT team comprising of professors Marin Soljacic, John Joannopoulos and Gang Chen, have not necessarily re-invented the incandescent bulb nor have they done away with LEDs and CFLs, ushering in new era of incandescent. They have set out in solving an old problem by utilising new technology.

Two Stage Light Recycling Process

Significant to the technology on display with the next gen incandescent, is a two stage light recycling process wherein infrared radiation which is produced by conventional tungsten filaments is taken by photonic crystals based filter wrapped around the filaments. Performing as nano-mirror, the crystals made of Earth-abundant materials tend to reflect the energy back to the filament so that the radiation instead of being wasted as heat is reabsorbed and harvested producing visible light.

The discovery disclosed in the journal Nature Nanotechnology is undoubtedly impressive if a touch puzzling to those of us who do not tend to dedicate time and energy to nanophotonics. It could be simple just to think of these incandescent as self-recycling bulbs which could connect a source of waste and then transform it into a source of energy.

Applying this technology of light-recycling to commercial lighting could be a small part of a intricate puzzle as the MIT tend to investigate other application wherein this innovative thermal emission controlling process could be instantly beneficial.

Vast Challenge Faced – Global Warming/Energy Efficiency

But Soljacic had explained to BBC that he `would not exclude the probability of incandescent bulbs re-emerging in a completely more efficient form and it is not totally out of the question considering that incandescent bulbs are not outlawed. The most popular wattages have to be manufactured in order to meet the efficiency standards established in 2007’.

`Thomas Edison had not been the first one to work on the design of the light bulb, however what he had done was to find out how to mass produce it economically and keep it stable for a longer period of over 10 hours and these are the two critical criteria still.

These are questions to which they are trying to answer’. Soljacic further added that they `have a vast challenge which the world is facing presently, global warming and energy efficiency and this give one more tool in the toolbox to meet this challenge and they are excited about the potential’.